We’ve become desensitized to the idea of a million views on a social media post. Let’s visualize what a large audience would look like in person. Jack from LimeLink found most of the pictures below.
As more people join the digital media ecosystem, creators are gaining outrageous engagement numbers on social media. TikTok especially has the unique ability to birth viral influencers who were just yesterday averaging three views per video.
One of the most well-known content creators is Mr. Beast. If you’ve heard his story, you already know that he’s earned his way to the top through sheer perseverance, ingenuity, and hard work. Even after reaching uncharted heights, he continues to raise the bar on YouTube and social media by pioneering creative and innovative content. He even spreads his influence on the business side as well as philanthropy.
It’s not common that a YouTube video (that isn’t a music video) gets over 70 million views. Mr. Beast was able to get that many plays on his video titled “Surviving 24 Hours Straight In A Desert“. That wasn’t too shocking considering his other videos are averaging over 40 million views.
I should note that the 70 million views metric shown on YouTube doesn’t mean that 70 million people watched that video. It means that the video was clicked on and watched 70 million times—views vs viewers. The video could’ve been rewatched by the same person multiple times, or it also could’ve been watched by ten people sharing one screen.
The rule of thumb is that usually, you get more people rewatching your videos than you get people sharing a screen. This means that a good amount of the listed views on a YouTube video are people who have rewatched it, even if you take into account the people who have shared a screen. Unique viewers, however, do vary considerably based on many factors such as the category of the video, audience, video duration, etc.
That doesn’t diminish the fact that so many people are engaging with Mr. Beast’s content. Let’s use his 70 million view video as an example. If we subtract an exaggerated 30 million views as the rewatches, that still leaves his video with 40 million unique viewers. That’s 40 million different people. Given the type of content he produces, there is no way that over 50% of his views are rewatches. But for the sake of the argument, we will use an exaggerated 57% rewatches on his video.
It’s also important to note that a viewer’s attention is appraised on their general engagement and loyalty to the brand, and how long you can hold their attention. This determines how willing they are to buy a product you offer them, hence how willing companies are to pay you for an advertisement. It explains why some YouTubers are paid more than others despite having the same amount of views.
Without getting too technical, a CPM is what measures your content’s profitability. It’s a metric that determines the cost that advertisers are willing to spend on placing their ads in your content. Your CPM varies by the type of content you post as well as other factors. If you’re an influencer or marketer and don’t fully understand CPM, now’s a perfect time. It’s probably one of the most important metrics for your profession.
I think we’ve become desensitized to how big an audience of 100,000 is, let alone 40 million. Although, getting 40 million lifetime views on social media doesn’t compare to performing live in person or digitally, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. I thought it would be interesting to visualize what crowds of this magnitude would look like in person.
The next time you post on Instagram or Twitter, use the pictures below to visualize your audience, it’s probably bigger than you think. This could also help better understand why brands are willing to pay influencers millions of dollars for advertising.
Around 500,000 People
1 Million People
Sporting events start to cap at around 100,000 people and some concerts have been so large that it’s difficult to capture the audience in a single picture. The largest recorded concert that I’m aware of is below 5 million in attendance.
You will have to use your imagination for the 40 million people who clicked and watched Mr. Beasts’ video. Just think of the entire population of Spain or South Korea for reference.
The next time you watch a TikTok video or see an Instagram post, think if the creator would be able to hold their audience’s attention for a longer period? Is their fanbase loyal? Or is it just their 15 minutes of fame?
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”Andy Warhol